With more than 1,500 new spinal cord injuries per year in Canada (http://www.sciontario.org/), there is a need for family physicians who are qualified and comfortable caring for individuals with spinal cord injury.
The Caring for Persons with Spinal Cord Injury eLearning resource is designed specifically for family physicians who care for, or are considering providing care for, persons with spinal cord injury in their practice. By sharing critical information in a convenient online format we hope to reduce the number of hospital emergency visits by persons with spinal cord injury by increasing the comfort level and knowledge of family physicians who care for this special population.
As a family physician, you play an important role in the promotion and maintenance of your patients’ health. While you will likely have only a few patients with spinal cord injury in your practice, it is important to understand the specific needs of this population. What may be a relatively minor symptom or problem in a person without spinal cord injury may result in a grave and even life-threatening problem for the individual with spinal cord injury. Caring for this population can be stressful if you have limited knowledge and experience; however, with the right knowledge and support it can be exceptionally rewarding. This eLearning resource is designed to provide family physicians with easy, just-in-time access to critical information to guide you as you care for patients with spinal cord injury.
Information on each of the top five areas of concern for this population—Autonomic Dysreflexia (AD), Neurogenic Bladder, Neurogenic Bowel, Respiratory Complications, and Pressure Ulcers—is provided to guide understanding, diagnosis, management and recommendations, as well as follow-up.
As well, health promotion and maintenance recommendations specific to people with spinal cord injury are provided to support the preventative care checklist forms produced by the College of Family Physicians of Canada for the general population.
Lastly, additional resources for family physicians and patients with spinal cord injury are listed.